Former NYC Mayor David Dinkins encouraged voters to embrace a state Senate candidate because he looks “more like us.” “It’s important, it is so very important, particularly for the people of this district who vote on Tuesday to recognize how important it is to understand that the city is changing,” Dinkins said in his endorsement of state Senate candidate Assemblyman Adriano Espaillat on Thursday.
“Most people in the city are going to look more like us than others and that’s just a fact,” Dinkins said.
Espaillat opponent Mark Levine, who is white, yesterday called on Espaillat, who is Hispanic, to denounce the divisive comment.
Espaillat did not repudiate Dinkins’ words.
“Mayor Dinkins is one of New York’s finest public servants, and he’s built his career around the principle that communities of different ethnic and economic backgrounds must work together if we want to bring about long-term change,” Espaillat said in a statement.
Levine, who called Dinkins’ comment “insulting to the district and electorate,” also took issue with its timing.
“The fact that they were delivered on the first day of Rosh Hashana added to their inappropriateness,” Levine said.
Espaillat and Levine are both frontrunners in the race to fill Attorney General hopeful state Senator Eric Schneiderman’s seat. The district includes the diverse population of the Upper West Side, Washington Heights, and Inwood, in Manhattan and Riverdale, in the Bronx.